See the San Francisco Bay from 10,000 feet
As far as day trips go, Sausalito is a must when visiting San Francisco
, and it's just a short 15-minute ferry ride across the San Francisco Bay, with some pretty amazing views along the way. After you've poked through the shops and galleries in Sausalito, grabbed some ice cream, and purchased your souvenirs, head to this little-known attraction that's pretty cool--- an exact model of the San Francisco Bay as it would appear from 10,000 feet, and the only working large-scale indoor hydraulic model of its kind in the world. Housed in an unassuming building on Sausalito’s waterfront, near Sea Trek Kayak, the Bay Model was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the mid-50s to simulate what would happen if the southern part of the bay was dammed and infilled. Using simulated tidal action, it was determined the results would be catastrophic and the plan, thankfully, was ditched. The model, covering more than 1.5 acres, represents roughly 1,600 square miles of the San Francisco Bay and San Joaquin Delta. Standing on a platform above the model, visitors can watch more than 135,000 gallons of water a day pumped into the model, simulating tides, sediment movement, and the flow of water in and out of the bay under a miniature Golden Gate Bridge. It’s open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Call ahead for holiday hours. Admission is free.